Co-Founder & Chancellor, Singularity University and Director of Engineering, Google
Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil (born 1948) is an American inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields as diverse as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.
He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
Technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil says our brains, as complex as they are, are constrained by an upper limit of 300 million “pattern recognizers.” But our future, cloud-based “virtual brains” will have no such constraints.
In our most recent discussion with Ray, he discusses the ability of natural language machines, such as IBM's Jeopardy!-slaying computer named Watson, to overleap our own cognitive abilities. The result, he says, will be a computerized personal assistant to help us throughout the day.
The basic technologies to enable us to look inside the brain and see its functioning are growing exponentially. And they're at a point now where we can actually see individual interneural connections forming and firing.